Main Types of Topic Sentences in Academic Essays

An academic essay needs to fulfill many criteria of the essay structure and formats. Thesis Statements, Hooks, Warrant, and more. Topic sentences are one of many essay tools that serve the important purpose of the readers’ smooth navigation through one’s essay. 

Each of the topic sentences connects back to the central thesis of the essay. They are an integral part of the main body paragraphs but overall aren’t a top priority for an enormous segment of the essay writer experts during the writing process. These tools are honed and perfected during the middle part of the writing process when the essay takes its shape and can be further perfected during the review phase. 


What are they?

Topic sentences come at the start of the paragraph and tell the reader what the paragraph will talk about. The topic sentences should be connected to the thesis statement and should introduce a part of the thesis aim. These single sentences inform the reader about the various categories that the topic is divided into, with each major category headed by a topic sentence. 


Signposts are phrases and words that are found in the main body paragraphs. They are responsible for indicating a change in the direction of the argument. This may be due to exploring counterarguments or analyzing various evidence and example.


Types of Topic Sentences

Topic sentences can be longer than a single sentence. When this happens it’s usually that the first sentence tells us about what claim or idea you will be talking about in the passage, and the others explore why it works for our central thesis. 


Complex Sentences

Using this type of topic sentence you can best pave a transition from the previous paragraph. The topic sentence will briefly touch upon the analyses or the information from the previous paragraph and switch to the new topic claim. 


For example: “While the Utilitarians are guided by the principle of ‘end justify the means’, the Deontologists hold that the act should be judge irrespective of the end. Deontologists don’t want vicious acts such as killing to be justified by a greater good.” 


Here the act of killing for a greater good is carried forward from the previous paragraph discussing Utilitarianism, to one talking about the Deontology school of thought. 


Questions as topic sentences can pack a powerful punch. A question is a great way to induce a forward momentum in the writing. The reader would want to know the answer in the next sentence. 


Changing our topic sentence from the previous part to a question, we get:

“Doesn’t the ‘end justify means’ or the ‘greater good’ philosophy a way of warranting the evil that is killing?”   


Bridge Sentence

The bridge sentence is more of a signpost that connects what was said in the previous section to the next one that stems from it. It helps keep the readers’ attention and prevents them from getting confused. 



Topic sentences don’t always come at the start. Paragraphs following inductive reasoning, for example, can have the topic sentence in the middle. Pivots are such sentences that explain the topic sentence and the argument backing it, in one breath; and in the other, it takes on a counterargument. It swings on a pivot to change its direction.


For example: “But isn’t killing a person to stop the same act of killing in the future, a contradiction. In Aristotelian virtue ethics, the character of a person should never contradict but only do acts of virtue only. “


Here as an essaywriter we have used a pivot to transform the argument into the counter-argument but at the same time have presented the topic sentence of Aristotelian Virtue Ethics.


Useful Resources

Extreme Guidelines to Write a Standout Essay

6 Ways to Make Your Essay Stand Out

Persuasive Essay: The Definitive Guide on Writing It

Best Ways to a Standout Essay


Alex Brian

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